A new £3 million business loan fund has been launched to help businesses in Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Funding from traditional sources is harder to find, and so the counties have joined forces to win £3m of ERDF funding money to bridge that gap.

The fund is managed by Worcestershire County Council and is being delivered by Impetus, a community development finance institution based in Pershore.

Loans of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available to viable Worcestershire and Shropshire-based businesses, which have already been turned away by the mainstream lenders for part or all of their funding requirements.

Impetus chief executive George Mackison said: "This fund will help businesses to develop, grow and prosper. Our experience of working with businesses in Worcestershire and Shropshire demonstrates that they are finding it difficult when it comes to access to finance. This fund will help to address that problem."

He added: "It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to providing businesses with the funding they need, which in turn safeguards jobs and provides local people with new job opportunities.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader of the county council, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this help which is very much in line with our focus of supporting local businesses and creating new job opportunities, keeping Worcestershire 'Open for Business'.

'"This is our top corporate priority and this scheme is one of many initiatives the council is bringing forward to help businesses to flourish which will ultimately lead to higher growth and more jobs. We hope our local businesses will take full advantage of the finance available to develop their businesses."

If you would like to find out more about the Worcestershire and Shropshire loan fund please go to: www.business-central.co.uk, or call 0300 123 14 40.